Thursday, June 12, 2008

Razz's house is not a home

There's not too much to say about last night's ho-hum 8-4 loss to the A's at McAfee Coliseum on Wednesday. I worked the game for, and one of the angles coming in was Darrell Rasner's homecoming. You see, the Razz is from Carson City, Nev., and as a boy his family would make the three-hour trip to Oakland to see a pre-PED abusing Mark McGwire hit .201 or something.

With 25 friends and family in attendance, the Razz got his butt whipped, which surely led to about 25 awkward voicemails this morning. Those who have been reading this blog of course know the reason why the right-hander has now lost his last four starts ... it's the Karmic Curse of Aaron Small. Quick background: Once Rasner improved to 3-0, he was anointed by many as the next Small, the journeyman right-hander who somehow went 10-0 for the 2005 Yankees. What people didn't realize was that bad pitchers go 10-0 once every 3,000 years exactly. That Yankees fans thought they were getting two of them in one decade speaks of our unflinching hubris.

This was Rasner's first truly poor start, but his leash will be short nonetheless. With Ian Kennedy coming back in a week or two, Rasner will likely be the odd man out unless he spins a few gems in a row. Even if he does, who else would lose a rotation spot? Pettitte has been awful of late, but he's a golden boy. Wanger, Joba and Moose aren't going anywhere. Barring an injury, me thinks the Razz should start to make himself familiar with the cozy confines of the bullpen.

So, back to .500 for the Yankees at 33-33, or as Derek Jeter succinctly put it after the game, "consistently inconsistent". It's about winning series though, and taking two-out-of-three against a scrappy Oakland team would be a success with Joba set to start the opener in Houston on Friday. Pettitte is on the mound tonight, and it's scary to think, but I don't know what to expect from him at this point. In the past, I would always think the end to a Pettitte slump was always a start away. But the 2008 version of AP frightens me a bit.

Not Kyle Farnsworth appearing-from-behind-the-left-field-wall frightened, but frightened nonetheless.

Around The Horn: Wednesday's loss marked the 23rd time the Yankees have been exactly .500 this season, equaling a Major League record set by the 1959 Chicago Cubs through 66 games. ... Jason Giambi's team-leading 15th homer of the season on Wednesday was his 192nd as a Yankee, tying Tino Martinez for 14th place on the club's all-time list. In a related story, Tino is still overrated. ... Pettitte has allowed 14 runs on 20 hits in two June starts. He had an 8.31 ERA in two starts against the Athletics last year. ... Mariano Rivera had the day off on Wednesday after appearing in four straight games. Mo is 17-for-17 in save opportunities in '08, the farthest he's gone into a season without a blown save. In a related story, Rivera is still somehow underrated.

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